The Shakedown: Post-election edition


The Road to the Statehouse ended on Tuesday.

Election Night has come and have past.  Winners and losers.  Blowouts or tough ones.  In the end, after things calm down in a few days, we will start to sort out what to expect for the next two years.

If you asked me, this is nothing new with national voters.  In the world of “what have you done for me lately (today)” culture, voters expect results today, not in 8 months or a year.  If anything, we the voters are too damn impatient and it continues to be accurate. This is a cycle we go through every two years.

Now, let’s see if my predictions were right, what I missed horribly on, and a few other notes to boot.  At least I’m not afraid to say if I was wrong about anything.  Readers deserve and appreciate bloggers and individuals admitting that.

Got it right on…: Congressional races and the governor’s race.  See, I told you Leonard Boswell is a guy never to count out.  The other four House races went chalk and were never in contention.  Though Ben Lange hasn’t conceded, the 1st District will have Bruce Braley as the winner once the absentees are counted next Tuesday.

Chuck Grassley did defeat Roxanne Conlin for the Senate, but it was how much she lost by that was startling.  I didn’t expect her to get beaten by a 2-1 margin.  I said on Tuesday “it puzzles me on why Conlin didn’t do more in this campaign to make a dent.” From the outside looking in, it appears that whatever her campaign was doing, it wasn’t enough.  There has to be an answer, beyond her opponent, to explain losing by such a large margin.

It leads me to believe that Iowa is still not ready to send a woman or a minority to Congress.  Conlin may have been the best chance to do that.  And that is sad.

Terrace Hill is about have some former tenants return.

For the first time in over 50 years, an incumbent governor was unseated, and for the first time since Samuel Kirkwood, a former governor returns to Terrace Hill.  I said yesterday, and I’ll say it again (thanks to Jordan Lampe for retweeting this line on Twitter) :  what was effective during 1983 to 1995 is not going to be effective in 2011.  You just can’t undo the floor that you are standing on.

Wrong, wrong, wrong…: on the judicial retention of three Iowa Supreme Court justices.  Wow, wow, wow.  Now, before anyone starts over-reacting, here’s a few things to clear out:  with the Constitutional convention ballot defeated, there will be no changes or altering of the Varnum ruling.  No matter what happens at the Statehouse.  Legislators are not judges.  They create bills and passes laws.  It’s the judges’ job to interpret if the law is in accordance to what’s already on the books.  The GLBT community will be alright.  They have more than a strong support group like One Iowa to swat away any threat towards Varnum.

The GLBT, if anything, should thank Chief Justice Ternus, Justices Baker and Streit to “taking one” on the chin for doing their jobs.  It’s a bad loss, but the silver lining is that District Court Judge Robert Hanson, the judge who ruled in favor of Varnum, was retained.  It makes me wonder why BVP didn’t go after him?

Big Winner: not Branstad, not the Tea Party (I’ll have more on them later today), and not the incumbents (more on them today as well).

Don Quixote himself…Bob Vander Plaats.  One way or another, he was going to do whatever to upstage everyone to get attention.  He was going to win, whether it was the governor’s job or mounting the campaign to toss Ternus, Baker, and Streit out.  You know what the means?  Two more years of seeing him around.  Who knows, he might run against Tom Harkin for the Senate in ’12, because no one was going to elect him governor ever.

Big loser: Tea Party.  What?  Hear me out.  The Tea Party wave may have encompassed the entire country, but as I told Michael Libbie and he tweeted it last night, it was the incumbents, for the most part, that dictated Iowa’s election day.  Yeah there were a couple of upsets, but the Tea Party faction didn’t make any inroads in-state whatsoever.

Shocking: how in the hell does Michael Mauro get bumped off in the Secretary of State race against Matt Schultz?  Nearly all of the county recorders across the state endorsed him, he’s very respected on both sides of the political fence, and he loses?  This is what elections are a funny thing.  You never take it for granted.

That will do it for now.  Later today, I write about how the Tea Party got upstaged by an old ally, Incumbents.  After all, Iowa is an Incumbent-friendly state, no matter what political party you are.

Unless you serve in the Iowa House or Senate.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. R.H. says:

    I with you on the Tea Party angle. From watching the returns and how it went, I didn’t get the feeling they had any significance last night here in Iowa. I asked someone I follow from out of state if he could offer his outside opinion on it. I hope to hear his response by the end of the week.

    That is a great question to ask.

    I appreciate your site immensely because it gives people a chance to read great sites and blogs that are thoughtful and intelligent.

    Keep up the great work and thank you for the kind words!

  2. Really enjoyed your takes on the elections in Iowa. Thanks!

    One comment. I’m not sure you can get a read on the Tea Party in Iowa because unlike other states, I’m not aware of any candidates that were considered “tea party candidates” like in other states (e.g…Rand Paul) in the Iowa general election. Maybe I missed something?

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